One Lao Family Community Center participant was able to achieve his lifelong dream of homeownership through our IDA program. A refugee from Burma, he came to the U.S. in 2008 after having spent most of his life in refugee camps. In 2012, he and his family enrolled in the Lao Family’s IDA program with BSB. In March of 2015, with $4,000 savings, plus matched funds and down payment assistance from the City of Oakland, he was able to purchase a house. Such success stories illustrate how matched savings programs serve multiple important functions. As the executive director of Lao Family notes, “it’s not just about the job, and the savings, it’s also about understanding the financial systems in America…about how to develop credit, banking systems, how to use a credit card.”[1] Savings and education together help account holders climb the economic ladder.

1.    Adkisson, K. (2015, April 27). Nonprofit Lao family celebrates 35 years helping immigrants achieve self-sufficiency [Blog post]. Retrieved from